LGBTQ+ conversion therapy banned in Canada

In a historic moment for celebration, Canadian MPs have unanimously voted to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.

Canada flag against a blue sky (left), two girls walking shrouded in a rainbow flag (right)Canadian MPs vote to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.
Image: Pixabay (ElasticComputeFarm) and Unsplash (Photo by Norbu Gyachung), In a historic moment with cause for celebration, Canadian MPs have unanimously voted to ban the discredited practice of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.

The legislation, proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, would make it illegal to have a child undergo LGBTQ+ conversion therapy or have anyone unwillingly undergo the horrendous practice.

“Diversity and inclusion are among Canada’s greatest strengths. Everyone should be able to live a true and authentic life, free from violence and discrimination, no matter who they are or who they love,” said a statement released by the Canadian government.

The House had approved an earlier version of the Bill last June, however, it failed to get through the Senate before Mr Trudeau called an election in September.

Now, the bill must be approved by the Senate, or the upper chamber of the parliament in Canada. Conservative MP Rob Moore moved the motion to fast-track the bill to the Senate.

“We said we wanted people to be on the right side of history on this issue. No one can consent to torture,” said tourism minister Randy Boissonnault, who is also a special adviser to Mr Trudeau on LGBTQ+ issues.

Conversion therapy is the unsubstantiated attempt to alter an individual’s sexuality or gender identity.

The practice, which The American Medical Association called harmful and ineffective, can include talk therapy, hypnosis, electric shocks, and fasting.

Discredited by medical and scientific organisations alike, The American Psychiatric Association states that the advancement of conversion therapy may cause social harm by disseminating unscientific views about sexual orientation. In 2001, United States Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report discrediting the practice, stating that “there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”

As reported by CBC news, in the aftermath of the voting, many MPs were quite emotional. In an incredibly touching moment, several Liberal cabinet ministers walked across the floor of the Commons, with the sound of loud applause, to shake hands with and hug Conservative counterparts.

In a celebratory conference afterwards, many LGBTQ+ MPs of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held back tears, speaking to the absolute necessity for the passing of this legislation to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.

The unanimous support for the bill surprised and delighted the minority Liberal government.

Justice minister David Lametti told reporters that “It’s an important day to … express yourself and understand yourself the way you are and the way you want to be.”

The decision of Canadian politicians to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy is a crucial step towards ridding the entire world of the appalling practice.

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